Photo courtesy of Mark Krancer

Memorial Park Association Awarded Grant from WWI Centennial Commission

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Michele Luthin


Memorial Park Association Awarded Grant from WWI Centennial Commission

100 Cities/100 Memorials Program
“Spiritualized Life” sculpture officially designated as a WWI Centennial Memorial


October 2, 2017 — Jacksonville, Fla. — The Spiritualized Life sculpture located in Memorial Park, has officially been designated a “WWI Centennial Memorial” by the World War One Centennial Commission. “Spiritualized Life is arguably the most iconic structure in Jacksonville and the Memorial Park Association is honored to have it recognized in the 100 Cities/100 Memorials program”, said Percy Rosenbloom III, President of the Memorial Park Association.


Memorial Park was born out of Jacksonville citizens’ deep gratitude to those who served in The Great War

(World War I). The park honors 1,220 Floridians, men and women, who died in the conflict, and whose names are inscribed on a parchment sealed in a lead box buried beneath the memorial plaza. Tribute is paid by the striking figure known as Life, sculpted by the renowned artist Charles Adrian Pillars of St. Augustine in 1923.


The World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, in partnership with The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, announced the first 50 memorials, which include Spiritualized Life. The memorials are located in 28 different states and each will receive a $2,000 matching grant funds towards the restoration and maintenance of these memorials through 100 Cities/100 Memorials program. The list of the first 50 recipients can be found at


The 100 Cities/100 Memorials was created to help draw attention to WWI memorials across the United States and enables all of America to take part in the WWI Centennial Commemoration. All 100 recipients will receive a matching grant of $2,000 for memorial restorations and be officially designated by the United States World War One Centennial Commission as a WWI Centennial Memorial.


During the World War One Centennial Commission meeting in Washington DC on September 13, 2017, the Commission resolved to designate the awarded memorials as “WWI Centennial Memorials”. Being the congressionally created U.S. government agency for the national commemoration of World War One, such a designation is an official national designation.


Memorial Park Association recently established a recovery fund in response to damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Donations may be made online at


About Memorial Park and the Memorial Park Association

Memorial Park is located at 1620 Riverside Ave., between Margaret Street and Memorial Park Drive in Riverside near the Five Points area of Jacksonville, Fla. Established in 1986, the Memorial Park Association is a nonprofit charitable organization serving its mission to enhance, promote and preserve Memorial Park as the premier historic park in the City of Jacksonville.

Designed by the famed Olmsted Brothers and dedicated on Dec. 25, 1924, it is the only park in the state dedicated to the 1,220 Floridians who lost their lives in service during World War I. In 2012, the Memorial Park Association initiated major planning efforts to restore and rehabilitate Memorial Park to its original grandeur, culminating in the development of a viable master plan that will serve as the foundation for continued restoration efforts.

Learn more about Memorial Park and the Memorial Park Association here or visit them on Facebook.

About the World War I Centennial Commission

The Commission was established by the World War I Centennial Commission Act, passed by the 112th Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on January 16, 2013, and is responsible for planning, developing and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I. The mission is to educate the country’s citizens about the causes, courses and consequences of the war; honor the heroism and sacrifice of those Americans who served, and commemorate the Great War through public programs and initiatives. To learn more about the Commission activities, visit further the mission, the Commission is leading the effort to build the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. to honor the 4.7 million American Veterans who served. To learn more about the Memorial, visit The Commission’s founding sponsor is the Pritzker Military Museum and Library (PMML) in Chicago, Illinois. The PMML is a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to enhancing public understanding of military history and the sacrifices made by America’s veterans and service members. To learn more about PMML, visit


About the Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Founded in 2003, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, located in downtown Chicago, is a nonprofit center where citizens and soldiers come together to learn about military history and affairs. The Museum & Library features an extensive collection of books, programs, artifacts, and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. Programs include a lending library, the archives, recorded TV shows, podcasts and oral histories, and museum exhibits. To learn more about the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, visit or @PritzkerMilitaryLibrary on Facebook.


About The American Legion

The nation’s largest wartime veterans organization, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans care and rehabilitation, Americanism and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.


About the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW)

The VFW is a nonprofit veterans service organization composed of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. The VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to veterans service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs.